A lorry transporting 59 cane harvesters toppled into a sideline drain yesterday at Albion, Corentyne, leaving nine of them hospitalized.
Those hospitalized are Premnauth Rawana, 58, Vickram Mangal, 34 , Fizal Ghanie, 41, Ramdass Mooklall, 48, all of Port Mourant; Risham Seeram, 44, Goberdand VinKoya, 29, Devendra Balkarran, 29 all of Whim and Colin Vandam Moore, 23, and Garfield Park Jr, 21, both from Lancaster. Balkarran, Mangal and Park sustained serious injuries to their heads and backs.
In a press statement, the Guyana Sugar Corporation’s Albion/Port Mourant estate said that the incident occurred around 5 AM as the lorry, GEE 2664 was in the process of transporting the cane harvesters from the 17B gang to work at Albion East 112.
At the time of the accident, the release said, it was raining and while the lorry was descending from the “Rose Hall 19 Bridge, the lorry made a right turn [which resulted] in the motor vehicle capsizing into the sideline [drainage]”.
The release also said that the lorry which is permitted to carry a maximum of 60 persons had fifty nine.
Meanwhile, accident victims told reporters similar stories. They noted that the truck driven by Garfield Park (Sr) started sliding on the clay as it was descending from the bridge and tumbled into the trench. Reports of the accident spread like wildfire and the estate’s management rushed to the scene and assisted. The release from the sugar company stated that a number of vehicles were taken to the scene to aid the transporting of the accident victims to public medical facilities. Stabroek News understands that the workers were three miles away from their designated worksite.
Stabroek News also understands that whenever it rains, the clay road is usually in a terrible state. GuySuCo stated that 20 workers were rushed to the Port Mourant hospital where they were examined by doctors and transferred to the New Amsterdam hospital. The group of doctors on duty admitted the nine patients for observation. Meanwhile, the other fifty received medical attention and were sent home from the Port Mourant hospital and health centre.
As the news spread, Prime Minister Samuel Hinds performing the functions of President, Minister of Health Dr. Bheri Ramsaran, and Minister of Agriculture Dr. Leslie Ramsammy visited the victims at the New Amsterdam Hospital.
President Donald Ramotar who was in Jamaica yesterday issued a statement saying that upon learning of the accident he immediately contacted GuySuCo management and was pleased that they had already put in place and committed the necessary resources to ensure quality care and treatment is provided.
Ramotar said that he was also in contact with the health sector to ensure that it was able to provide all health interventions necessary for the quick healing of any injury and to ensure that those who may need specialist care are able to immediately access it.
“It is the hope of myself and government that those injured make a speedy recovery and their families benefit from the established mechanisms of counselling and assistance in this difficult period. I will continue to monitor the situation while overseas on State business. Our comrades from the sugar industry, particularly our
field workers, have been working diligently to keep production on pace with our target”, Ramotar said.
During a press briefing, Ramsammy said that his ministry would be liaising with the sugar corporation to ensure that all the necessary assistance is given to the families of the injured persons. He further stated that, GuySuCo would be visiting the families to update them on what is occurring and to ensure that workers receive all their benefits.
GuySuCo’s Albion/Port Mourant management was also commended for their quick response towards the injured workers.